A new survey conducted by Nielson Interactive and in-game advertising company Double Fusion claims in-game advertising yields significant results in product awareness and purchasing decisions.
Whilst the idea of in-game advertising and brand sponsorship is not a new one, industry analysts have forecast that it may be one of the biggest revenue segments in the games industry as more companies find ways to place their products in-game - either through bill-board advertising, more complex 3D advertising or direct product placement.
The survey suggests that in-game advertising generates a 60 percent improvement in new product awareness, and that 3D advertising creates nearly twice that of static 2D billboard advertising.
It should be noted however, that the study, which focused on Metro 3D's downloadable game London Taxi, was designed to validate the different formats available through Double-Fusion's own in-game advertising technology.
Double Fusion's co-founder and executive vice president for business development, Guy Bendov said: "More and more 18-34 year olds are spending both time and money on gaming, and reaching this highly desirable audience is of the utmost importance for advertisers and marketers. Double Fusion is the only company in the market that offers the 3D insertion capability so it is very encouraging to find that this tool resonates with consumers."
The potential revenue and purchasing impact of in-game advertising continues to be the subject of research and discussion throughout the industry. This year's E3 conference program in May featured an in-game advertising workshop, in which key industry figures suggested a massive revenue boost over the coming years. Michael Goodman from market research firm The Yankee Group forecast a leap in spending from USD 35 million in 2004 to approximately USD 875 million by 2009.
Discussing the latest survey results, Nielsen Interactive Entertainment's managing director for Europe, Henry Piney, said: "The study provides continued evidence that in-game advertising is a medium which brand managers across categories should be exploring, particularly if they want to reach the highly valuable 18-34 year old male audience."
"The study also shows that, by using video games' unique attributes and offering insertions through which players can interact with brands, the advertiser can gain even greater value," he added.